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Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) that may improve your chances of pregnancy

There are several factors to consider when choosing an IVF clinic to start fertility treatment. One important factor that may be overlooked, is the assisted reproductive technologies (ART) a clinic uses for its IVF programme.

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a broad term that includes all technologies and processes an IVF laboratory performs on gametes and embryos. Whilst most laboratories have the requisite basic setup, other laboratories employ different technologies in hopes of achieving optimum outcomes for their patients.

Here are several technologies used by Alpha IVF which you can learn about:

Closed-system chambers

To ensure optimal development, eggs and embryos must be kept at the right temperature (37°C) and gaseous levels at all times. As such, our laboratory uses closed-system chambers during egg retrieval and ICSI to minimise exposure to ambient atmosphere. The chambers provide a better-controlled environment for the eggs unlike an open heated-stage.

 

Pulse-driven ICSI

The objective of ICSI is to safely and securely deposit the sperm into the egg to achieve fertilisation. Our laboratory adopts a variation of ICSI called pulse-driven ICSI, which uses piezoelectric pulses instead, to perform the injection. Pulse-driven ICSI is more gentle to the eggs, reducing risk of injury. It also improves fertilisation as the egg membrane can be broken more securely [1].

Time-lapse culture system

Another key IVF technology over the past decade is time-lapse incubators. A time- lapse culture system enables monitoring of embryos without removing them from the safe environment of the incubator. All important events during the embryo’s development are captured and can be reviewed at any time. This aids in embryo selection as the best embryo may be identified and selected for transfer [2].

 

Cryopreservation system

Embryo freezing plays a vital role in frozen transfer cycles. A cryopreservation system has to be robust in order to safely freeze and thaw eggs/embryos. We utilise a cryopreservation method from Japan which consistently achieves high post-thaw survival rates for embryos and blastocysts to optimise your clinical outcomes.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Embryo Selection

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now being applied in IVF to aid in the embryo selection process. The AI system objectively analyses images of blastocysts and provides an implantation score for each blastocyst. By having these scores, the embryologist can make a better-informed decision on which embryo to choose for transfer so you can successfully achieve a pregnancy [3].

 

References
  1. Hiraoka, K., Kitamura, S., Kuwayama, M., Kim, J., Turan, V., & Oktay, K. (2014). Piezo ICSI using ultra-thin needle dramatically improves oocyte survival and fertilization without detrimental effect on embryo development and implantation ability as compared with conventional-ICSI. Fertility and Sterility, 102(3), e32.
  2. Pribenszky, C., Nilselid, A.-M., & Montag, M. (2017). Time-lapse culture with morphokinetic embryo selection improves pregnancy and live birth chances and reduces early pregnancy loss: a meta-analysis. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 35 (2017) 511– 520.
  3. ver Milyea, M., Hall, J. M. M., Diakiw, S. M., Johnston, A., Nguyen, T., Perugini, D., Miller, A., Picou, A., Murphy, A. P., & Perugini, M. (2020). Development of an artificial intelligencebased assessment model for prediction of embryo viability using static images captured by optical light microscopy during IVF. Human Reproduction, 35(4), 770–784.

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